Raging Bull actress Theresa Saldana dies


Theresa Saldana, the Raging Bull actress who survived a stalker's brutal attack to become a crime victims' advocate, has died aged 61.

The New York-born actress, who had been suffering from pneumonia, died at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles on Monday, according to her longtime friend, Soorya Townley.

She called the actress a "warm, caring person" who always put the needs of others before her own.

Saldana's most notable big screen role was opposite Joe Pesci in Raging Bull, Martin Scorsese's 1980 film starring Robert De Niro.

Theresa Saldana in 1992

In 1982, she was repeatedly stabbed by an obsessed man in front of her West Hollywood apartment. The attack was stopped by a deliveryman. Scottish drifter Arthur Jackson served more than a decade in prison for the crime before he was extradited to the UK to face charges in a case here.

Saldana went on to found a support and lobbying group, Victims For Victims.

She played herself in the 1984 TV movie Victims For Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story.

Between 1991 and 1996 she starred in drama The Commish.

Saldana and actor Phil Peters, who had a recurring role on The Commish, were married in 1989 and had a daughter, Tianna.